This Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi bake features cavatappi pasta, roasted chicken, black beans, corn and salsa all smothered in a rich homemade pepper-jack cheese sauce. It's not only a family pleasing one-dish-meal but, it's like a sassy macaroni and cheese.
Easy Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi Recipe
I'm a one-dish-meal fan. My family is just like yours between school, sports, friends and family our days are crazy busy and filled with extra-curricular activities. That's not a bad thing at all but, can make meal-time difficult some days. One-dish-meals keep life simple and in general they reheat well, if we find ourselves at the supper table at different times. Whether it's this cavatappi or chicken fettuccine, they're a win for mom.
How to Make the BEST Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi: Cavatappi pasta, cooked rotisseries chicken, butter, all purpose flour, salt, black pepper, taco seasoning, cumin, Mexican oregano, shredded pepper jack cheese, black beans, Mexican corn or corn with peppers, green onions and chunky salsa.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A pasta cooker, 13 x 9 inch baking dish, whisk, medium saucepan, measuring cups and spoons, sharp knife and cutting board and cheese grater.
- If you're unable to find cavatappi pasta you could adapt using an alternate pasta such as corkscrew, penne or rotini.
- You can use any cooked chicken in this recipe. Rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, leftover roasted chicken, baked or poached chicken.
- Pepper jack gives a little more kick to the sauce. If you prefer a milder version, use monterey jack cheese or colby jack cheese in the same amount.
- Mexican oregano has a robust flavor and an herb that I use regularly. You can adapt this recipe using Italian oregano in the same amount.
- You can use a can of Mexicorn corn or frozen corn with bell peppers for this casserole. If you choose to use frozen corn, it should be thawed prior to adding the casserole.
- You can fully assemble this casserole one day in advance and chill in the refrigerator. When doing so give it 15 minutes on the counter to warm and add more baking time, if needed. Five to ten minutes should do.
- Store leftover Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single servings in the microwave.
More Easy Chicken Casseroles to Make
Pasta isn't complicated to make and comes with the bonus of being a cost effective choice when you're feeding a hungry family. More chicken casserole recipes you may also like to try:
- This skillet casserole like my Cajun Chicken Pasta with Andouille.
- Chicken Cordon Bleu Noodle Casserole is creamy and flavorful.
- Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti is family tested and approved.
- Southwestern Chicken Taco Lasagna is another fun dish sure to fill up your hungry eaters.
- French Onion Chicken Noodle Casserole is the best of both worlds.
- Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta is a feast with salad and garlic bread.
- Low Carb Chicken Divan from Simply Stacie.
Thanks for visiting come back soon!
Disclosure ~ If a purchase is made using one of the affiliate links on this website we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
Southwestern Chicken Cavatappi
- 12 oz dry cavatappi pasta
- 5 tablespoon butter
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 3 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ½ cup shredded pepper Jack cheese divided
- 3 tablespoon taco or fiesta seasoning i.e. McCormick
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 3 cup roughly chopped rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn with peppers thawed
- ½ cup thick and chunky salsa plus additional for serving
- 4 green onion sliced (Reserve 2 tablespoon for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in salted water per the package directions until al dente then drain well.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour. Cook over medium-high stirring until the flour has dissolved.
- Whisk in the garlic salt, pepper and 3 cups milk. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat ti medium-low whisking constantly. Allow to gently bubble for 5 minutes then add 2 cups cheese.
- Remove from the heat and stir until the cheese melts. Add the taco seasoning, ground cumin and oregano mixing well.
- Add the cooked pasta, chopped chicken, black beans, corn,and green onion to a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce on top and mix well.
- Pour ½ into the baking dish. Dollop the salsa over the pasta, then sprinkle lightly with ¾ cup pepper Jack cheese. Top with the remaining pasta and finish the top with the last ¾ cup shredded cheese.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly around the edge and the cheese is golden.
- Serve immediately garnished with green onion and with additional salsa on top, if desired. .
It's important to use a thick and chunky salsa either mild, medium or hot your preference.